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Updated: 30 min 26 sec ago

Re: Trail A Bike For Tourer?

16 September 2014 - 8:12am
I've tried a few different versions of these sorts of things and can offer my experience...

I tried a TrailGator, and didn't like it. It was too unstable at speeds above 8 mph or so. I haven't tried the follow-me sort which looks rather better.

I hired a seat-post mounted trailer bike which I pulled with my road bike, and it was okay, but a little less stable than I would have liked. However, Mini V really liked riding behind me, so I bought a used childback tandem which we love & still use regularly, though more with Littlest. Mini V is 8, now and prefers her own bike

However, I also bought a used Isla Bikes rack mounted trailer bike (they do turn up on here from time to time). I find that much more stable than the seat-post mounted one. For longer trips, I can even put it on the tandem, and pull two kids

Re: short tour

15 September 2014 - 11:16pm
Get youself to exeter on a train, then cycle up on to Dartmoor, once you get onto the platue (1400') the hills are'nt bad, the scenery will blow your mind and you can hop from pub to pub, I am assuming that your on a road bike If you had the tyres then that opens it up for some real exploring
Still plenty to see from the road and plenty of open land for wild camping. The wheather is good but friday brings some rain I think.
maybe to adventurous for you, but this place was my first cycle touring trip. Just two panniers 35 kgs with food and water incl bike.

Re: short tour

15 September 2014 - 9:55pm
I live near Brockenhurst - lovely cycling in the forest and across heather downland if you can avoid main tourist routes (obviously!) The road out to Burley and then Ringwood via Rhinefield ornamental drive with its deer park and Arboretum is especially nice. Beautiful open moorland north of Ringwood. Going the other way towards Lymington there are stretches of coast road up on the cliff tops overlooking the Isle of Wight all the way to Christchurch, into town of Bournemouth and then across the ferry at Poole in to rural Dorset. Enjoy the trip whichever way you go.

Lon Las Cymru Holyhead to Chepstow just completed

15 September 2014 - 9:35pm
Lon Las Cymru Cycle Tour
Holyhead to Chepstow
280 miles completed
Over 5300m of ascent
Strava android app used to track route
24.45kgs of luggage i.e. 2* front & 2* rear panniers, bar bag and tent
Bike Ridgeback Panorama
Route completed in 3 full days and 2 half days

Day 1 Sat 6.9.14
Arrived @ Holyhead train station @ 12.50
Holyhead to Menai Bridge (Bangor) to Caernarfon
Distance completed 45.02 miles Max 33.4 mph Ave 10.9 mph
Riding time 3 hrs 53 mins 52 seconds
Total ascent 501m

Campsite I stayed at in Caernarfon
Cwm Cadnant Valley
Llanberis Road, Caernarfon, Gwynedd, LL55 2DF, Telephone: +44 1286 673196,
£8 per night
Excellent campsite for location to route 8 and town centre i.e. 10 minute walk. Caernarfon is very picturesque. Had a good pub meal and beer in the Anglesey pub in Caernarfon.

Day 2 Sunday 7.9.14
Caernarfon to Porthmadog to Barmouth to Dolgellau
Distance completed 71 miles Max 41.3 mph Ave 11 mph
Riding time 6 hrs 25 mins 26 seconds
Total ascent 1130m

Campsite I stayed at in Dolgellau
Tanyfron Caravan & Camping Park
Arran Road, Coed Y Brenin, Snowdonia, Dolgellau, Gwynedd, LL40 2AA, Tel: 01341 422638
£7.50 per night
Good campsite for views, facilities and proximity to route 8

Day 3 Monday 8.9.14
Dolgellau to Machynlleth
Distance completed 15.95 miles Max 30.4 mph Ave 6.7 mph
Riding time 2 hrs 22 mins 25 seconds
Total ascent 615m

Hostel I stayed at in Machynlleth
Stayed at http://www.machhostel.co.uk
£17.50 per night
John 07590 282 374 (Hostel was formerly known as Reditreks) next to Jp’s Bicycle Salon which was formerly known as the Holy Trail. Proprietor of Bike shop is a mate of owner of hostel and is also named John. Number is 07789 062981
4 spokes tore away from rear wheel and it also cracked in 8 other different places so had to replace wheel. John was really helpful where sourcing a wheel for me and fitting it for a token charge. I obtained the new rear wheel obtained from Summit Cycles in Aberystwyth via a short train journey and return bus journey

Day 4 Tuesday 9.9.14
Dolgellau to Machynlleth to Llanidloes to Rhayader to Bulith Wells to Hay On Wye
Distance completed 80.33 miles Ave 9.2 mph Max 36.7 mph
Riding time 8 hrs 39 mins 01 seconds
Total ascent 1651m

Campsite I stayed at in Hay On Wye
Radnors End Campsite
Radnors End, Hay On Wye, Powys, HR3 5RS, Tel: 01497 820780
£6 per night
Stopped at Clive Powell Mountain Bike Shop in Rhayader and obtained a new set of pads for rear breaks which had burnt down to the metal on Day 2
Very nice clean and small campsite. Ideally located. Showers cost 50p

Day 5 Wed 10.9.14
Hay On Wye to Abergavenny via Gospel Path then Abergavenny to Chepstow
Caught 20.30 train back to Birmingham New st.
Distance completed 59.79 miles Max 39.8 Ave 8.8
Riding time 6hrs 47 mins 05 seconds
Total ascent 1416m

Abergavenny - had a nightmare trying to find the route out of Abergavenny. Went round in circles for an hour plus. If you have a sat nav on your phone type in Tredilion Road. Get to there and you will find the route out!

I have put this together to help me remember the trip and in the hope it might prove useful to others considering doing Lon Las Cymru

For those that ask questions about fitness and what is possible in how much time. Between 4.2013 and 7.2014 I had two major operations and had only been able to exercise a total of 3 times in 15 months i.e. 7.2014.

In the 6 weeks prior to setting of I completed a 3 day 180+ mile cycle tour around the Cotswolds and 200 miles of cycling in South West France.

I didn’t find the trip challenging. It was made easier by superb weather conditions i.e. sunshine everyday and scenery that encouraged me to stay on my bike and enjoy it!

The hills are steep in places, if you can’t manage to cycle to the top of each ascent, just get off and push and take a pause when you need to

Trip is highly recommended, go challenge the Welsh Dragon.

If you have any questions, please do contact me

Re: Trail A Bike For Tourer?

15 September 2014 - 8:10pm
Yup. German engineering is something else. It looks great on the Surly too. Budget is a bit of a hindrance though I could sell my hair and beard perhaps. Great blog Howard...hc

Re: short tour

15 September 2014 - 8:08pm
I don't know, but this website will find you a pleasant route between Brockenhurst and Taunton (Or just about anywhere else)

Sometimes I like the idea of riding to and/or from home but you do end up spending a lot of time on familiar roads. I think for such a short break I'd be tempted to get a return ticket somewhere not too far away but that i didn't know well and do a circular route.

Re: Trail A Bike For Tourer?

15 September 2014 - 7:26pm

I have the follow me tandem and use it on both my tourer and my hybrid although the latter is only for towing the empty bike it's heavy but very stable.

Seren didn't use it while we did our trip http://10mileseachway.blogspot.co.uk/ so it was dead weight but she is a bit older than yours but no issues with panniers (see pics on blog) and will last for years.

Our trailgator had various replacement parts and often needed tightening and re alignment.

Either system I definitely recommend them using their own bike just because its theirs


Re: Santander hotel

15 September 2014 - 6:15pm
At the end of my Northern Spain Tour last May/June I stayed at the Hostal San Glorio. Fairly close to the Ferry Terminal and the Rail Station. A good clean hotel. Breakfast was served at their sister hotel across the street. Let me stow my bike and pannier bags in their spare room in the lobby.

Re: short tour

15 September 2014 - 4:46pm
Ah. Taunton. That would have been useful...

Re: short tour

15 September 2014 - 4:40pm
Where you are based might help with advice - Somerset covers quite an area!

short tour

15 September 2014 - 2:34pm
Weather is nice and I have left over holiday days to take from work. I was thinking about doing a short 2 day tour preferably ending back home, or ending early enough on the 2nd day to get the train home and be back before 8pm. 1 night staying at a camp site as a first attempt at camping touring and to test out my stuff.

I was thinking about getting the train to Brokenhurst and cycling back, but trains look to be a pain, and I cant work out a decent route home. I'm currently considering getting the main line to Plymouth, and coming home from there, staying over outside Okehampton on the first night.

Any other suggestions?

Re: South Downs Way on a touring bike ??

15 September 2014 - 1:10pm
I did it a few years back on a MTB that'd been converted for commuting - so fully rigid, lowest gear was 32front, 25back, 2" marathon tyres. It was dry so the tyres were fine. The wrists had just about had enuff by the end tho - front suss would have been nice. Also, that gearing was stupid, I had to honk *alot* - then I was fit enough, now I couldn't do it. Id take a MTB if possible - and suck up the road miles on it from Cambridge if need be - but it's probably doable on a tourer. Fat tyres, low gearing!

Re: How to train for long distance cycle touring

14 September 2014 - 11:03pm
Yep. Ride longer distance rides everytime.

there's no substitute for miles!

Re: Trail A Bike For Tourer?

14 September 2014 - 8:57pm
A few further pointers from the forum's collective wisdom: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=64611

Re: South Downs Way on a touring bike ??

14 September 2014 - 8:55pm
I did it on my ATB back in March, fully laden with panniers, 2nd time iv'e done it.26" wheels. I'd not recommend it. I don't own a MTB.

Re: Cotswold Line

14 September 2014 - 8:38pm
Really glad you liked it - definitely brought a smile to my face reading this. I'll pass on the link to everyone who's been involved!

We're working on Worcestershire County Council to get the missing section from Evesham to Honeybourne signposted. But I see from the sixth pic you found your way through no problem.

Richard (Sustrans ranger at the Oxfordshire end of the route)

Re: South Downs Way on a touring bike ??

14 September 2014 - 8:15pm
I did much of it on my Pugsley! It was great. No need to walk with a fat bike. I recon I could do it on my tourer with the right tyres (big as poss) and the 'bars as high as possible.

Re: Trail A Bike For Tourer?

14 September 2014 - 8:11pm
Thanks Colin & Gaz. I appreciate the help. Daughter is sold on the idea 100%. YouTube is dead handy for 'explaining' things. Those Burley bikes look the business but sadly a budget comes with my mission. I'll probably go down the eBay route. After all I'm saving up for 'Project Surly'.

Thank you both again...hc

Re: South Downs Way on a touring bike ??

14 September 2014 - 6:07pm
I did a little on my 1-down. never again too rough.

Re: Trail A Bike For Tourer?

14 September 2014 - 5:43pm
Fantastic way to do the school run, check that your daughter agrees before you invest.

The best trail-a-bikes are ones that fix to a dedicated rear rack. These were once made by Islabikes, a few other independents and continue to be made by Burley (Kazoo / Piccolo). Placing the articulation point above the rear axle of the towing bike improves general handling and minimises the tail-wags-the-dog effect. Second hand models crop up on the forum from time to time.

Trail-a-bikes that attach to the seatpost may make top bags problematic, traditional Caradice style saddlebags aren't going to work. You do need a minimum amount of seat post showing to fit the clamp and might need a little more height for the saddle rails to clear the arm. I suppose that a very small frame might lead to conflict with a pannier rack but it's difficult to imagine it.

Any trail-a-bike should allow you to use panniers on both sides of the rear rack.

Trail-a-bikes aren't as stable as a childback tandem. If you have room to store one it will be a better experience for both of you.


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